Monthly Archives: July 2011

West Virginia Judge Retires, Investigation Brings Changes

Newspaper articles and posts have discussed Judge Daugherty, the West Virginian administrative law judge (“ALJ”) that the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has been investigating. Judge Daugherty came to the media’s attention when an investigative journalist discovered that he had denied just four disability benefits cases out of 1,300, an approval rate of 99.7 percent. The typical approval rate is 60% across the country. Judge Daugherty retired last week. He had been on administrative leave since May following the Wall Street Journal article that revealed his almost 100 percent approval rate. Judge Daugherty has denied any wrongdoing, but said that he found the disability benefits system broken because lawyers knew exactly what they had to present to win their cases. Others do not fault Judge Daugherty, but the system, which they say encourages speedy approvals to move through the backlog of cases and to appease higher level management and SSA officials….
Read More »

Posted in Benefits, Social Security | Tagged , , | Comments Off

4.5 Years Later, Court Denies Man’s Disability Application

After over four and a half years, an Arkansas man will not be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) or Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), a federal court in Arkansas recently decided. 41-year-old Brian Poole began his disability benefits application process in December of 2006. He claimed that, since April of that year, he had been unable to work as a result of several conditions, including sleep apnea, shoulder problems, a hernia, depression and obesity. Injured workers may wish to speak to a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney for guidance on receiving disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) denied Poole’s application in February of 2007. He asked for reconsideration, which also resulted in a denial later in May. He appealed to the next level, where an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) heard his case in June of 2008. While the ALJ found that Poole suffered severe impairments, she found…
Read More »

Posted in Benefits, Disability | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Prisoners, Dead Roommates, Among Those Getting Benefits

Dead people and prisoners are two groups of Americans that are not supposed to be receiving Social Security benefits. With many legitimately disabled Americans waiting a long time to begin receiving disability benefits, payments to the dead and imprisoned siphon money away from those truly in need. More details on filing for SSDI or SSI disability benefits are available from a Tulsa Social Security disability lawyer. One of the more common findings for Social Security Administration (“SSA”) investigators is people continuing to cash benefits checks on behalf of deceased relatives or friends. One Florida woman in March cashed over $70,000 in benefits checks, as neighbors complained of a foul stench emanating from her home. Authorities eventually found the woman’s dead mother in her house. In 2008, two New York men dressed up their dead roommate and wheeled him in a wheel chair to cash the man’s disability check. A detective…
Read More »

Posted in Benefits, Evaluation | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Social Security Adds Heart Conditions to Fast-Track List

In order to fast track disability applicants with particular disabilities, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has a program called Compassionate Allowances, often referred to as CAL. Medical conditions that fall under CAL are so serious that the SSA recognizes their debilitating nature without applicants’ having to provide medical records and expert testimony to the extent that applicants have to for other conditions. Applicants with a condition on the CAL list receive benefits quickly. A Tulsa Social Security disability attorney is available to assist applicants with their disability benefits paperwork. Started in 2008, CAL initially had 50 rare diseases and has now doubled to 100. In February, the SSA held a public hearing regarding adding cardiovascular conditions to the CAL list. Earlier in July, the SSA officially announced the addition of 12 such conditions to the CAL list, which could benefit many applicants, as cardiovascular conditions are one of the more…
Read More »

Posted in Benefits, Social Security | Tagged , , | Comments Off